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Republic of Uganda

Ministry of Local Government

Local Government System in Uganda

The system of Local Government in Uganda is based on the District as a Unit under which there are lower Local Governments and Administrative Unit Councils. Elected Local Government Councils which are accountable to the people are made up of persons directly elected to represent electoral areas, persons with disabilities, the youth and women councilors forming one third of the council. The Local Government Council is the highest political authority in its area of jurisdiction. The councils are corporate bodies having both legislative and executive powers. They have powers to make local laws and enforce implementation. On the other hand Administrative Unit Councils serve as political units to advise on planning and implementation of services. They assist in the resolution of disputes, monitor the delivery of services and assist in the maintenance of law, order and security.

The Local Governments in a District rural area are:

  • The District
  • The Sub-county

The Local Governments in a city are:

  • The City Council
  • The City Division Council

The Local Governments in a Municipality are:

  • The Municipal Council
  • The Municipal Division Council

The Town Council is also Local Government

The Administrative Units in the rural areas are:

  • County
  • Parish
  • Village

The Administrative Units in the urban areas are:

  • Parish or Ward
  • Village

The Local Government Act, 1997 gives effect to the devolution of functions, powers, and services to all levels of Local Government to enhance good governance and democratic participation in and control of decision-making by the people. The law also provides revenue, political and administrative set up of Local Governments as well as election of Local Councils.

The powers which are assigned to the Local Governments include powers of making local policy and regulating the delivery of services; formulation of development plans based on locally determined priorities; receive, raise, manage and allocate revenue through approval and execution of own budgets; alter or create new boundaries; appoint statutory commissions, boards and committees for personnel, land, procurement and accountability; as well as establish or abolish offices in Public Service of a District or Urban Council.

The central Government is responsible for national affairs and services; formulation of national policies and national standards and monitoring the implementation of national polices and services to ensure compliance with standards and regulations.

Line ministries carry out technical supervision, technical advice, mentoring of Local Governments and liaison with international agencies.